POMONA — City Council members, in a rare show of harmony, agreed unanimously this week to participate in a one-day session to learn how to work together.
Last week, the council was split 2-2 on a motion to hire Results Management Inc. of Laguna Niguel to conduct a teamwork session. But when the proposal was resubmitted to the council this week, the two council members who had opposed it withdrew their objections.
Council members Nell Soto and Tomas Ursua said last week that they would not enter a team-building process while a recall movement was under way against their political ally, Councilman C. L. (Clay) Bryant.
But this week, Soto said that even though a teamwork session a few years ago failed to improve relations among council members, she is willing "to make another attempt to bring about harmony.
"I'm going to put my reservations aside," Soto said.
Ursua said he would be willing to participate in a team-building program if Bryant was also interested. Bryant did not speak, but voted for the proposal.
Results Management Inc. will conduct an all-day session Oct. 14. In its written proposal, the company says it will help "participants discover and put into practice the skills for creating a high-performance team." The program draws on concepts developed in sports, and includes a videotape offering insights from retired basketball coaches Red Auerbach and John Wooden and football coach George Allen.
The city will pay $3,000 for the workshop.
Mayor Donna Smith welcomed the decisions by Soto and Ursua to change their votes on the proposal. "I'm glad there are some changed hearts tonight," she said, telling her council colleagues that "we may all end up to be good friends."
The request for council members to seek assistance to learn how to work together originated with the Pomona Concerned Clergy and Lay Leaders, a group formed out of concern over the political infighting in the city.
Pat Irish, representing the group, said she is "not sure that friendship is the goal" but rather she hopes that council members will learn how to communicate with each other and improve their decision-making.
"We are very supportive of you going into this process," Irish told the council.